William Gay, who began as a small-press author (at McMurray & Beck), then went on to Doubleday for his novel Provinces of Night, has followed editor Amy Scheibe to the Free Press, where she has just signed a two-book deal for a collection of stories and a novella, I Hate to See That Evening Sun Go Down, for October publication, and a later, untitled novel; the agent was Amy Williams at ICM.... A new novel by the husband-and-wife team of Nick Chiles and Denene Miller was bought by Laurie Chittenden at Dutton before their previous collaborative fiction effort was even published. The new one is In Love and War and was bought for six figures from agent Victoria Sanders The pair, both award-winning journalists, have previously penned nonfiction.... Matthew Goodman, a print and radio authority on Jewish food, has now sold a book on the subject to Susan Friedland at HarperCollins, who preempted world rights for six figures from agent Bill Clegg at Burnes & Clegg.... Children's author/illustrator Janell Cannon (the bestselling Stellaluna and others) has made a new six-figure, world rights sale to Harcourt Children's publisher Louise Pelan for an untitled new "critter" book in 2004; agent, Sandy Dijkstra.